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In Twentieth Century Theatre from the time of the Renaissance on theatre seemed to be striving for total realism or at least for the illusion of reality As it reached that goal in the late 19th century a multifaceted antirealistic reaction erupted Many movements generally lumped together as the avant-garde attempted to suggest alternatives to the realistic drama and production Paralleling modern art movements various theoreticians turned to symbol abstraction and ritual in an attempt to revitalize the theatre Although realism continues to be dominant in contemporary theatre its earlier functions are now better served by television and film The originator of many antirealist ideas was the German opera composer Richard Wagner He believed that the job of the playwrightcomposer was to create myths In so doing Wagner felt the creator of drama was portraying an ideal world in which the audience shared a communal experience perhaps as the ancients had done He sought to depict the soul state or inner being of characters rather than their superficial realistic aspects Furthermore Wagner was unhappy with the lack of unity among the individual arts that constituted the drama He proposed the Gesamtkunstwerk the total art work in which all dramatic elements are unified preferably under the control of a single artistic creator The avant-garde choreographers can be characterized by in general having a less formal attitude towards dance than the previous generation While their predecessors were obsessed with conveying angst and emotion these dancers seemed to have more fun Their frivolity could be attributed to the fact that as dancers they were no longer on a crusade to legitimise their art The avant-garde choreographers felt free to experiment They questioned the frontal aspect of creating a dance that was inherent in ballet and early Modern dance why couldnt dance be in a round why must the audience be directly in front Their explorations of ways in which theatrical space affected the dance led
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